In the US and Canada energy policies are set at the national and state or provincial levels. In both countries the states and provinces are taking the lead in introducing and supporting Feed-in Tariff (FIT) policies. Feed-in Tariffs can help every state and province reach its renewable energy goals, and its CO2 reduction targets.
There are several ways you can make a difference.
Spend a few minutes to contact your state or provincial elected representatives. They need to hear from you about these policies. A brief personally signed letter will be read and have the most effect. It will be 20 minutes of your time well spent. Here is a sample letter you can copy and send to one or all of your state or provincial legislators. You may want include with your letter the Legislative Alert printed below.
Letter to Legislator
[Your return address & date]
Dear [name of your legislator],
I have recently learned about a very effective renewable energy policy that I believe can make [name of your state/province] a leader in clean renewable energy. This policy is called feed-in tariffs (FITs) and it has proven to be the world’s most effective renewable energy legislation.
FITs are incentives for individuals and businesses to become producers of renewable energy. They direct utility companies to provide access to the grid for anyone or any group producing renewable energy (RE), and to buy all the RE available at established prices per kilowatt hour for a set period of time, usually 15 to 20 years. The prices vary according to the type of technology, the size of the system, and its location. The increased costs to the utilities is paid for by adjustments to all their customers’ electricity bills. In Germany, this has meant an increase of around three dollars a month for average home owners—about the cost of a loaf of bread. A board is established that meets periodically to review the policy and adjust the rates for new contracts.
Adopting a FIT policy in [name of your state/province] will encourage our energy entrepreneurship, expand our green energy marketplace, create jobs, and stimulate our economy—all this while significantly reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. I urge you to develop and pass legislation like this in our state. You can learn more by visiting www.AllianceForRenewableEnergy.org.
Please let me know what action you will take to bring FITs to [name of your state/province] and make us a leader in the renewable energy revolution.
Legislative Alert for US and Canadian State and Provincial Legislators
Feed-in Tariffs (FITs): The World’s Most Effective Renewable Energy Policy
In the US & Canada, energy policy is set at the national and state or provincial levels. Recognizing that our Federal Governments are doing far too little to promote renewable energy, every state and provincial government needs to take leadership.
The US consumes 25% of the world’s oil, but only has 3% of the world’s oil reserves. Our national and state economies are overly dependent on oil. Developing our own renewable energy breaks our dependence on Middle East and other foreign oil, thereby increasing our energy security. Renewables will help to solve global warming, and create millions of new well-paid jobs.
More than Enough
Every state and province has more than enough renewable energy from the sun, wind, water, biomass and/or heat from the earth, to meet their needs. Renewable energy can be used for heating, cooling, electricity, and as fuel for machinery and transportation.
Free & Clean
Once the investments are made to buy, install and maintain solar panels, wind turbines, etc., the actual “fuel” is free and ongoing. Compared to the costs related to fossil fuels—extraction, production, transport, pollution, illnesses, and wars—clean renewable energy is cheap. While fossil fuels pollute the environment and cause global warming, renewable energy is clean.
Most Effective Law
The most effective legislation to stimulate a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy has been pioneered in Germany. This has made Germany the world leader in the production of solar panels, creating 234,000 jobs. In the 1980s the US had an 80% share of the solar panel market; today we have 25%. The German legislation is so good that over 45 other countries, states and provinces have adopted similar laws with great success. These laws are called Feed-In Tariffs (FITs).
How it Works
This legislation encourages people and groups to install solar panels, wind generators, etc. to produce energy and sell it to their power company at a price guaranteed for 15 to 20 years. People are eager to install this equipment, as they will recoup their investment in about 9 years and have a steady stream of income after that. This increased demand creates jobs, conserves fossil fuels, and lowers greenhouse gas emissions—Germany has met its CO2 emissions reduction targets three years early.
Bring it Home
This simple idea that is producing astonishing results elsewhere has received little attention in North America. FITs can help states and provinces reach their CO2 reduction targets, and their goals to have a percentage of their energy come from renewables by a set date.
Climate chaos, escalating fuel prices, and wars show us that we need to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. We have the technology, know-how, and resources. Now we need leadership from state and provincial governments. In the US, six states have introduced REP type policies: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Rhode Island. Several other states have recently considered FITs, but have not yet introduced legislation: Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Wisconsin. In Canada, only the Province of Ontario has a policy like FITs in place.
You Can Help
Make your state or province an innovative leader in renewable energy. Learn about Feed-in Tariffs (FITs), the “world’s most effective renewable energy policies” and make it a priority to develop, promote, and pass legislation that is modeled on it.
This legislation will do the most to help your state or province make a rapid transition from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy. By being a leader in renewable energy, you will create many thousands of well-paid jobs, improve public health, and help stop global warming. By reducing your dependence on foreign oil, you will keep the revenues of the energy industry within your state or province and increase your national security.
Start creating your own version of this legislation with the Parliamentary Action Climate Toolkit (PACT) at: www.onlinepact.org.